Impaired learning from regret and disappointment in alcohol use disorder

Caterina Galandra, Chiara Crespi, Gianpaolo Basso, Nicola Canessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of alcohol habits is considered a form of maladaptive reinforced learning, with sustained alcohol use resulting in the strengthening of associative links between consumption and either rewarding, or the lack of aversive, experiences. Despite recent efforts in characterizing decision-making skills in alcohol-use-disorder (AUD), it is still unknown whether impaired behavioural learning in AUD patients reflects a defective processing and anticipation of choice-related, cognitively mediated, emotions such as regret or relief for what might have been under a different choice. We administered a Wheel-of-Fortune (WoF) task to 26 AUD patients and 19 healthy controls, to investigate possible alterations in adjusting choices to the magnitude of experienced regret/relief, and in other facets of decision-making performance such as choice latency. AUD patients displayed both longer deliberation time than healthy controls, and impaired adaptations to previous outcome-related negative emotions. Although further evidence is needed to unveil the cognitive mechanisms underlying AUD patients’ abnormal choice, the present results highlight important implications for the clinical practice, e.g. in terms of cognitive treatments aiming to shape faulty perceptions about negative emotions associated with excessive alcohol exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12104
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Impaired learning from regret and disappointment in alcohol use disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this